VOGONS


First post, by Jed118

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Hello all,

I have always wanted to build the "fastest" 386 with VESA. I got pretty close late last year when a friend dropped off a 3/486 EISA/VESA board, but as of now I have not been able to make it work with any 386 chip (the idea is to run my 40 MHz TI SXL in it with a VLB video card and SCSI) . This has been an ongoing project for the last 20 or so years, since I found the computer (originally an AM386DX/40) curbside back in 1999 or so. Now, if any of you ever had the task or dream or building a GT car from a base model (something I have done myself at least twice now), it is a time-consuming process, and usually luck at a junkyard or finding a parts car on line is involved. Lots of fabrication and reading of dealer/factory literature on the subject. You get close and... Then a "GT" machine shows up with a few missing parts.

I got this machine about a year ago on allegro.pl and it sat with my parents. I only knew that it booted to a German version of DOS as seen on the pictures of the auction. I finally had a chance to get to it after moving into my new place over 2 months ago.

aFQtaSql.jpg

bciOhWgl.jpg

Model 2168 type 245. This is the SLC with 16Kb L1 cache Blue Lightning. This one also came with 16 Mb RAM, an IIT FPU (33 MHz) and this one has 256k cache, although I read here that 128k will do fine because of the memory addressing beyond 16Mb takes a hit if it is exceeded.

It came pretty stripped out but it has a lot of integrated features. It seems I am not the first one to post one here, however I cannot find an easy way to get into the BIOS - the only way I found out how to was to unplug the floppy and hard drive, wait 2 minutes for the error code to come up, and the option appears to press F2. This is annoying, but at least I can get in.

Once in, I can set the multiplier - when I set it to 3x and leave the 25MHz jumper in, it boots OK. When I then switch it to 33MHz, it will not get past POST (I got a little further by removing the FPU - I will be replacing it with a 40MHz version and putting the 33MHz out of this one into a system that can use that speed) - the hard drive light stays on and that's it. So for now at 3x 25 MHz or 2x 33 MHz it is "stable" in the sense that it will boot and run NSSI. No further tests have been done.

XEeKdSbh.jpg
CE5RB1al.jpg
5our7aLl.jpg
UlBhBXal.jpg

I want to replace the video card - I so happen to just have an excellent Mach32 for the task. However, when I put it in, it beeps. I suppose there is a jumper somewhere? I've looked around on the net and can't find too much on the machine and even less on the chip. Any manuals out there? I found a generic multi-unit 400 page manual that mentions this, and also a setup diskette - I wonder if anyone has this one.

Perhaps my most important question - How would this compare to a 40 MHz SXL with 8k internal cache on a VLB motherboard? Is the external 16 bit addressing a concern? I plan to use it for games from about the time it was made - would this just be easier to tune up for that task rather than messing with the SXL (which is a true 32 bit chip - again though, does that make a difference for what I want?) The OS will be DOS (Probably DR-DOS if it will allow it, and Windows 3.11)

The only disadvantage is that it only has 2x 5.25 bays and I have 3 expansion devices of that size - since I'm going SCSI I can look out for an external CDROM enclosure I guess.

Either way, this is a unique system, and I seem to have a slightly more advanced IBM (W 95 keyboard and scroll mouse, ) peripherals, as well as a nice CRT to go with it. I think I'm going to like using it 😁

Youtube channel- The Kombinator
What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 1 of 28, by Jed118

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Upon further testing, it doesn't like the Mach32 - doesn't show any errors but displays no image. Initially it seems to put something on the screen (tried with a VGA CRT and an LCD) but put in an 8 or 16 bit card, also doesn't work until you take apart the riser and pull out the original card, which is mounted to a PCB to the motherboard itself. I'm leery of taking off the riser so many times - putting it in and pulling it out seems to flex the board too much for my liking.

Likely the Cirrus will just stay in there, unless I gain some confidence and try one more time with my Tseng, mounted in my Nixdorf (don't really want to trouble that PC too much though - you have to pull the power supply to get it out).

So far 33MHz x2 seems to be pretty stable. NSSI shows practically the same speed results compared to 3x25 MHz. I'll run more diags later, I'm going to start loading stuff onto this PC.

Youtube channel- The Kombinator
What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 2 of 28, by Warlord

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

one time i found a NOS alaris cougar. Played with the BL3 for a few months. It's a fast little CPU for what it is. But I ended up socketing a DX2 66 for a couple reasons. The BL3 was 25x3 and didn't run the bus a 33mhz so I couldn't take full advantage of video card or ide. I know some BL3s are 33x3 but mine was not. Other reason was that the tripple clocked cpu doesn't de-turbo as well as a double clocked CPU, so It wont down clock as slow. A DX2 66 is slightly faster that a 75mhz BL3.

Reply 4 of 28, by Jed118

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

^^^I dunno, you tell me what it is 😉 - As far as I understand, it's a 16 bit externally addressed 386 sharing similarities with a 286 but with a 486 instruction set and 16Kb of L1 cache that can run at 100 MHz (perhaps not this one, but we'll see) 😁 (*edit I might be wrong - I think this is a true 32 bit chip - I'll put in more RAM tomorrow, that ought to be a decent indicator)

I make no excuses for my workbench - it was slapped together out of necessity in my new basement and is likely temporary. I'm working on the lighting too, which for now is fine straight down onto the table.

This one is a BL3 or so it says, but the sticker on the front says 25/50 MHz. That being said, it's at 33MHz x2 right now and has been for the whole day and thermals seem good (I'll have to measure them again with the thermal gun 25x2 vs 33x2) and it has been very stable. I also put in a 40MHz FPU and the system saw it as a 50MHz (the 33MHz unit that I removed showed at 38MHz IIRC) and the performance increased slightly over the 33MHz according to the NSSI graph (before it was pretty much in the middle of the two bars surrounding it):

0RBpXS4l.jpg

CPU is edging up to a true 486 DX2/66 MHz

nAKzZgql.jpg

General info:

Bj0tmDzl.jpg

Among other things today I loaded PC-DOS 6.1 with diskettes I had acquired in Grade 7 (so, 1995) as it seemed only appropriate. Memory management leaves something to be desired, looks like I will have to manually optimize it (or QEMM it, we'll see) .

tIL5gBel.jpg

I also dug out an IBM mouse, keyboard, and G54 monitor (WOW it's crisp!) albeit these are slightly newer than the PS/1000 by a few years (Windows 95 keyboard, scroll mouse, and the monitor is from 1996) . I then found an image pack for the PS/1 (not exactly for this machine, but close enough) and loaded the Windows portion of it.

M0rhkSil.jpg

TlvSPxBl.jpg

I now get this neat prompt when I start Windows:

nFBGYUSl.jpg

Then I loaded all the correct drivers for the hardware (I threw a CT1750 at it) and played a bunch of games. All work flawlessly (Doom, Ultimate Doom, Settlers, Settlers 2 Gold, SC2K Windows, Sim City, Utopia, some others)

uWfUzFAh.jpg

Youtube channel- The Kombinator
What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 5 of 28, by Nitroraptor53

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Jed118 wrote on 2020-10-28, 02:02:

^^^I dunno, you tell me what it is 😉 - As far as I understand, it's a 16 bit externally addressed 386 sharing similarities with a 286 but with a 486 instruction set and 16Kb of L1 cache that can run at 100 MHz (perhaps not this one, but we'll see) 😁 (*edit I might be wrong - I think this is a true 32 bit chip - I'll put in more RAM tomorrow, that ought to be a decent indicator)

I

Lol, that's weird.

My Wishlist!
MIcro ATX 486 Project
Twitter

Reply 9 of 28, by Intel486dx33

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Do you have a Service manual for this computer ?
I know my IBM PS/1 computers have jumpers on the motherboard to switch to external video, cache size, BUS speed, and overdrive CPU.

You can’t just plug things in and expect them to work. You have to switch the motherboard jumpers to.

Reply 10 of 28, by Nitroraptor53

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I have a PS/1 2168 (the tower one) and yeah, jumpers... They're a real nuisance. ps2kev has the manual, luckily enough.

My Wishlist!
MIcro ATX 486 Project
Twitter

Reply 11 of 28, by Jed118

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-10-30, 10:45:

Do you have a Service manual for this computer ?
I know my IBM PS/1 computers have jumpers on the motherboard to switch to external video, cache size, BUS speed, and overdrive CPU.

You can’t just plug things in and expect them to work. You have to switch the motherboard jumpers to.

It came as-is, no manual, no sticker on the inside of the case telling you what stuff is. Actually, I don't think mine has the plastic base, either.

There are three jumpers on the board that I can see - one labelled 25/33 (that's obvious) , one for 128/256 near the cache, also obvious, and one unlabelled one, near the integrated video daughterboard. I tried changing positions, and removing it entirely - apparently the way to get an external video card to work is to remove the daughterboard, which houses an average CL-5428. My Mach32 refuses to play with the PS/1000, and from what I can tell, it's not that much of a better card, so Cirrus it is ( for now at least).

Actually, on several of my other systems, including a Siemens-Nixdorf from around the same time period, the way to upgrade the video and I/O is to simply plug another one in. 😉

I've heard this doesn't have PCM Sound Sampling no matter what. Is this true?

I've been on the road for 22 hours and 1,700 KM driving a barely functional car across two provinces - I'm tired - what's PCM sampling? (Give an example maybe?) MIDI and AD-Lib type songs play just fine, for example, in SimCity 2000 (win 3.1) I get the music and the sound effects. I had to mess with the drivers a bit to get the MIDI music going, but it is working on a CT1750, CT1740, and a Crystal SB clone.

Youtube channel- The Kombinator
What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 12 of 28, by Jed118

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Nitroraptor53 wrote on 2020-10-30, 17:53:

I have a PS/1 2168 (the tower one) and yeah, jumpers... They're a real nuisance. ps2kev has the manual, luckily enough.

Yes I do believe that's where I got the mostly-compatible PS/1 Windows "image" - I scanned my computer for viruses after, and found two files infected with the HLLO HONI A virus (although not in a location where those files resided - Time to investigate my game source files)

Youtube channel- The Kombinator
What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 13 of 28, by Nitroraptor53

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Jed118 wrote on 2020-10-31, 06:17:
It came as-is, no manual, no sticker on the inside of the case telling you what stuff is. Actually, I don't think mine has the p […]
Show full quote
Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-10-30, 10:45:

Do you have a Service manual for this computer ?
I know my IBM PS/1 computers have jumpers on the motherboard to switch to external video, cache size, BUS speed, and overdrive CPU.

You can’t just plug things in and expect them to work. You have to switch the motherboard jumpers to.

It came as-is, no manual, no sticker on the inside of the case telling you what stuff is. Actually, I don't think mine has the plastic base, either.

There are three jumpers on the board that I can see - one labelled 25/33 (that's obvious) , one for 128/256 near the cache, also obvious, and one unlabelled one, near the integrated video daughterboard. I tried changing positions, and removing it entirely - apparently the way to get an external video card to work is to remove the daughterboard, which houses an average CL-5428. My Mach32 refuses to play with the PS/1000, and from what I can tell, it's not that much of a better card, so Cirrus it is ( for now at least).

Actually, on several of my other systems, including a Siemens-Nixdorf from around the same time period, the way to upgrade the video and I/O is to simply plug another one in. 😉

I've heard this doesn't have PCM Sound Sampling no matter what. Is this true?

I've been on the road for 22 hours and 1,700 KM driving a barely functional car across two provinces - I'm tired - what's PCM sampling? (Give an example maybe?) MIDI and AD-Lib type songs play just fine, for example, in SimCity 2000 (win 3.1) I get the music and the sound effects. I had to mess with the drivers a bit to get the MIDI music going, but it is working on a CT1750, CT1740, and a Crystal SB clone.

PCM Sound Sampling is Sound Effects.

My Wishlist!
MIcro ATX 486 Project
Twitter

Reply 15 of 28, by Thermalwrong

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Hmm, that's odd but also great! I have a similar (not the same) board with a blue lightning that runs at 75/100mhz, but it can't seem to do digital audio with card like the Yamaha OPL3-SA. I think it's a different version of the board though, mine looks like this, with a swing arm 486 socket. Both my board this one don't seem to make sound in games or anything else. I spent a while reading through various newsgroups from the 90s and it seemed to be a common theme for that board.

It's great that your board design has working sound 😀

btw, the quickest way I found to get into the BIOS, since it was on the bench rather than in a case, was to insert & remove one stick of ram, then it would throw an error for the memory amount change and I could get into the BIOS from that error message.

Reply 16 of 28, by Jed118

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Thermalwrong wrote on 2020-11-02, 00:06:

Hmm, that's odd but also great! I have a similar (not the same) board with a blue lightning that runs at 75/100mhz, but it can't seem to do digital audio with card like the Yamaha OPL3-SA. I think it's a different version of the board though, mine looks like this, with a swing arm 486 socket. Both my board this one don't seem to make sound in games or anything else. I spent a while reading through various newsgroups from the 90s and it seemed to be a common theme for that board.

Dat board be dutty! Maybe the contacts are corroded or not connecting properly? My 486 socket doubles as a 387 receiver - the socket is different enough that the board may warrant a revision. Perhaps I have an earlier rev?

Thermalwrong wrote on 2020-11-02, 00:06:

btw, the quickest way I found to get into the BIOS, since it was on the bench rather than in a case, was to insert & remove one stick of ram, then it would throw an error for the memory amount change and I could get into the BIOS from that error message.

Haha that's awesome, I will try that next time I'm tinkering with it. Thanks for the tip!

Youtube channel- The Kombinator
What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 17 of 28, by DolchFlexPAC

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Hey everyone,

Has anyone got the PDF file for the PS/1000 2168/245 Blue Lightning? I can't find it on the kev sites or elsewhere, and I would love to have the FRU numbers of the motherboard and that Awesome 2X VLB riser card.... Since I can't find a PS-1000 complete, I was thinking finding the motherboard and riser, and fitting it in one of my existing IBMs......

I had a PS/1 in 1992 when I was in grade 9, and it changed my life. I grew up on DOS. Wolfenstein3D was a 'game changer', lols. I remember downloading Doom when it first came out, when the connections were crashing because of overload. Anyways, I'm now a :bit: older, and have finally finished putting together a little setup again; it took 5 years.

Now, the big PC300PL 6892-47U is stock, but the desktop is now a PC300 6492 VLB computer (yup... with a 4MB ATI Mach64 VLB card), and the 2 mini-towers have had their motherboards replaced from faster models, such as the Aptiva 2176 (12H2001 PRO159 board) and the PC300GL 6282 (61H0382 / 61H2731 board).
During my testing, I realized that I was able to use different riser cards on different boards, so long as I also had a correct power supply for the riser power connector.
For some, I had to file down the riser wafer connector, in order for the cards to fit properly in the case. Word to the wise: round off the corners of your wafer or you'll break your mobo connector's pins.

** FYI - there was some people asking on this forum about jumper settings and voltage regulators (rare). My solution was using Interposers.... they have voltage regulators and clock multipliers higher than your existing motherboard. Some Interposers are: Kingston TurboChip 133 TC5x86-133, Powerleap PL-K6-III-98, Aries 97-486D2UC.
Evergreen also made interposers, and Cyrix / IBM9314 part 50H6281 PQ was described as: "IBM 5x86-3V3 100HF 100MHz Socket 3 486 overdrive cpu. Includes Evergreen 586 cpu socket adaptor, allows use in original socket 486 168 (169) pin sockets and Socket 1, 2, & 3 overdrive sockets. Upgrades any 486 board that supported 486dx2 50 and 486dx2 66.". I hope this might help some others with their upgrade option dilemas.

Alas, I yearn to have an old IBM with more than 1 VLB slot, to then maybe also have a SCSI controller, or perhaps an Enhanced IDE card. Hence my search for the PS-1000 FRU numbers.

Cheers!

Attachments

  • IBMs3.jpg
    Filename
    IBMs3.jpg
    File size
    624.05 KiB
    Views
    221 views
    File license
    Public domain
  • IBMs2.jpg
    Filename
    IBMs2.jpg
    File size
    797.42 KiB
    Views
    221 views
    File license
    Public domain
  • IBMs.jpg
    Filename
    IBMs.jpg
    File size
    559.58 KiB
    Views
    221 views
    File license
    Public domain

Reply 18 of 28, by Nitroraptor53

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I have wanted a PS/1000 for years, and I haven't found any evidence of them being sold anywhere on the internet in the past 3 or so years. Good luck. You'd be better off trying to mod an IBM PS/1 like I'm trying to do with mine.

My Wishlist!
MIcro ATX 486 Project
Twitter

Reply 19 of 28, by DolchFlexPAC

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Yes, modding one of my PS/1 mini-towers is exactly what I want a PS/1000 motherboard & riser card for. 😀
I've never seen many PS/1000's for sale, but I know that one was on ebay less than 5yrs ago.

In fact, I might be able to do this with just the PS/1000 riser card..... I could install it on the VLB board (pic below), that's currently in my PS/1 desktop unit, and transfer it into one of the mini-towers.....
** DOES ANYONE HAVE THE FRU # OR IBM PN # FOR THE DUAL-VLB SLOT RISER CARD FOR THE PS/1000? 😁

I would be nice to have a PS/1000 to complete my collection (maybe I'll be lucky enough to find one some day...), but I'd be fine with just an IBM 486 that has more than just 1 VLB slot (the ultimate 486 bus).
Both my mini-towers have been upgraded to Pentium (586) ISA/PCI systems, but as my heart & soul lie in the 486, I'd like to convert one of the mini-towers back down to one, using a PS/1000 board & riser, unless someone is aware of another option for me, still keeping with genuine IBM hardware. I think a PS/1000 is so difficult to find, that I may stumble on its hardware manual first, lols.

... It would awesome if I could find myself a Drive Cage (IBM FRU 03K9608) for the IBM 300PL 6892 model, too. It screws onto the piece of chassis frame that is found below the power supply.... See part #6 in the exploded view pic below. It's described as a "Hard Disk Drive Bracket " in the IBM PC300GL 6892 FRU parts list document.

Attachments

  • IBMVLB.jpg
    Filename
    IBMVLB.jpg
    File size
    1.87 MiB
    Views
    145 views
    File license
    Public domain
  • IBM6892.jpg
    Filename
    IBM6892.jpg
    File size
    1.3 MiB
    Views
    145 views
    File license
    Public domain
  • 6892PARTS.jpg
    Filename
    6892PARTS.jpg
    File size
    68.7 KiB
    Views
    145 views
    File license
    Public domain